Bullet Point Vacation

One of the problems with blogging is that I’m constantly several weeks behind in all the things I want to tell you. In a perfect world, I would already have written about my first week of the real semester and I’d currently be writing about the recent visit to Yogya by one of my aunties. But this world is far from perfect, so I’m going to rewind back to my vacation between August Intensive and the real semester and tell you about that instead.

The end of August also marked the end of Ramadan and thus I had some time off. I present to you a summary, in vaguely chronological order, of what I did during my vacation:

  • Went to Penang to hang out with my grandparents.

  • Ate won ton mee. So much won ton mee. So good.
  • Took showers with hot water. Hot water that came right out of the tap. This was a little bizarre to experience, but also amazing.
  • Wore shorts in public and didn’t feel embarrassed.
  • Ate food that wasn’t so sweet that I could feel the sugar build-up on my teeth.
  • Ordered egg tarts at dim sum all by myself. In Chinese. Granted, the exchange consisted of me pointing and saying ‘three’ without the AN word and him looking at me like I was a little crazy and saying ‘three’ with the AN word and a lot of other words that I didn’t understand. Still, it got the job done.
  • Explored every nearby supermarket in Penang with my grandparents.
  • Ordered won ton mee by myself, also in Chinese. But when I went back and ordered a second plate for my grandfather I had to slip into Indonesian to be understood.
  • Went to Kota Kinabalu to visit my one-time homestay mate who currently lives there.
  • Hung out with a kitten who was trying to learn not to bite things. To aid in this learning process I was forced to try to resurrect my French accent, as the kitten would only respond to commands in French, that being the language that my homestay mate and her fiancé regularly speak.
  • Conversed with a cab driver. Because I had a hard time understanding his accent, I had to ask him to repeat the question “Are you here studying?” four times in Malay before I knew what he was saying.
  • Ate ice cream.
  • Ate marmite.
  • Wandered around Kota Kinabalu’s Chinatown (all one block of it) and bought my last char siew bao of the trip.
  • Went snorkeling.
  • Missed Lake Ontario more than I can say.

5 thoughts on “Bullet Point Vacation

  1. aww dude your last bullet point made me sad!

    but all the rest sounds good, look how multilingual you are! talking to taxidrivers, dim sung people, even french cats!

  2. Always fascinating Zoe. So where did you get to go snorkeling and what is char siew bao? It sounds like it could be some kind of beef jerky but I don’t picture you eating that. Are you no longer taking pictures of your food? And one more question – Are you going to get to HK before April?
    Life lurches on here – mostly trips to the eye doctors. We are trying to get Grandma to exercise more to regain some strength. If you have any good ideas let me know. love, a. carol

    • There will be an upcoming post about the snorkeling. Char siew bao is a steamed bun with roast pork inside. I am still taking pictures of food. Maybe I will post some here at some point. I will make it to Hong Kong before April.

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